25 May 2009
Writing on Reading: The Last Hot Time
Lately, I've been on a quest for urban fantasy that does not involve vampires, werewolves, or zombies. One book that fit the bill is The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford. The novel has a lot going for it: an original world, tight writing, and good imagery. Like all fantasies, it forces the reader to walk the line between mysteries of the world that are never explained and those that are explained to the reader as the book goes on. The Last Hot Time has too much of the former and not nearly enough of the latter. The writing and the promise of some answers kept me reading until the end (it is a very short book), but the promise wasn't kept. I was left with a only a vague understanding of how the world was supposed to work and exactly what happened in the story. I was further frustrated with the protagonist's refusal to share his thoughts with the reader. For example, the protagonist fears something bad inside himself but consistently refuses to reveal what it is. The book is an interesting exercise, but ultimately not satisfying.